News / Featured / Community / 23rd December 2021
Meet your new Council
Residents across Warrumbungle Shire went to the polls on Saturday, 4 December to elect representatives for the incoming Council. On Tuesday, 21 December, two and half weeks following voting day, nine newly-elected councillors were officially announced.
Four previous councillors will retain their roles - Ambrose Doolan, Aniello Iannuzzi, Denis Todd and Kodi Brady, while Kathryn Rindfleish, Dale Hogden, Carlton Kopke, Jason Newton and Zoe Holcombe will round out the fresh faces on Council.
Past councillors Peter Shinton and Ray Lewis failed to gain enough votes to retain their positions.
Just three candidates - Kathryn Rindfleish, Ambrose Doolan and Dale Hogden - had been assured a position by reaching the required quota through first preference votes.
Securing the most number of first preference votes, Kathryn Rindfleish said she was excited for the opportunity to represent the entire Warrumbungle Shire.
“I think I might be the first female candidate to ever secure the most number of first preference votes in the Shire too,” Mrs Rindfleish said.
“Female representation is important, particularly with issues relating to health, youth and safety, which are several areas I am interested in at Council.
“I think it is also crucial that, as councillors, we are listening to people in all towns, regardless of where we may happen to live in the Shire.”
Mrs Rindfleish is the daughter-in-law of the late Bruce Rindfleish, who served as a councillor of Coolah Shire Council for 28 years, 17 of those as mayor.
“I think he would be proud that someone within the family is following in his footsteps,” she said.
“I hope that we end up with a solid group of progressive, forward- thinking councillors.”
Dale Hogden, from Dunedoo, was another candidate whose campaign quickly gained momentum once polling opened.
“I have to admit, I was surprised when the numbers came up and I had so many votes,” Mr Hogden said.
“Being from Dunedoo I suppose it has helped that I know a lot of people.
“From the looks it I think it will give a really great representation from all corners of the Shire, all with good knowledge and backgrounds.”
Mr Hogden said it may take some getting used to being a Council representative, but he has already nominated some issues he would like to see addressed.
“At the moment, our roads definitely need attention, along with the doctor situation - especially in Dunedoo and Coolah.”
Ambrose Doolan said he was grateful to residents for his re- election.
Cr Doolan said he looked forward to working with the incoming Council members.
“I’m pretty confident with this group.
“It looks as though the average age has fallen a bit, which I think is a good thing.
“Everyone elected seems to be community- minded and have passion to get things done.”
The first Council meeting of 2022 will be held on Thursday, 6 January, where the affirmation for each councillor will take place.
The second item on the agenda will be to vote for the mayor, followed by the deputy position.
“After that, we will organise committees and working groups - it will all be about setting the new Council up for the
future,” Cr Doolan said. “I’m grateful and humbled to have received the votes I did and I will put my name forward for mayor again.
“I think the partnership with Nello (Doctor Aniello Iannuzzi) as deputy worked well.
“The February meeting will be where we really start addressing some of the key issues.”
Cr Doolan said at the forefront of his concerns was getting on top of the damage to the road infrastructure caused across Warrumbungle Shire by the recent floods.
He also hopes to continue with the proposed development of a housing sub-division at Coonabarabran, as well as developing the town’s industrial area in a bid to create more jobs and business opportunities.
An important meeting with exectuives from the Inland Rail has also been scheduled for early next year, along with a review into early childhood services across the Shire.